FOLKLORISTIC TALISMANS

THE HISTORY OF TALISMANS AND AMULETS, MADE BY ALCHEMISTS, PRIESTS, MAGICIANS, MAGI, SHAMANS AND WITCHES, GOES BACK AS FAR AS WE HAVE RECORDS.

A talisman is an object that has a specific ability to aid a person in focusing and amplifying his or her power. A talisman is not a lucky rock. The power of a talisman is its ability to aid you in achieving the future you desire. Otherwise an amulet is a special talisman that is used for defense and protection. Amulets are usually worn or carried for protection.

Whether you want some extra protection against negative energy or are trying to channel your inner psychic abilities, we rounded up a curious collection of charms and treasured trinkets that reveal the hopes and fears of superstitious.

Click through to the gallery to check out our favorites.

Cornicello or cornetto – Italian for little horn, is the twisted horn of an African eland thought over years they’ve been stylized and less-horn like, often made of gold, silver, bone or red coral. It’s a regional popular amulet, they occur primarily in Italy and in America among descendants of Italian immigrants. Worn as an amulet of good luck used for protection against the evil-eye curse.

Detente bala – an inscription used by Spanish soldiers on patches of cloth with the phrase “detente bala” (stop bullet in Spanish) around a Sacred Heart of Jesus, worn on the chest as a protection

Dreamcatcher – Originated with the Ojibwe people, storytellers speak of the Spider Woman, who took care of the children and the people of the land. Eventually, the Ojibwe Nation spread to the corners of North America and it became difficult for her to reach all the children; so mother and grandmothers would weave magical webs for them, to filter out all bad dreams and only allow good thoughts to enter their minds.

Four-leaf clover – consistently believed to be a lucky charm in Ireland due to the fact that clovers are abundant among the hills. This very old Irish verse describes why: “One leaf is for fame, and one leaf is for wealth, and one is for faithful lover, and one to bring you glorious health, Are all in the four-leaved clover”.

Ghost shirt – shirt or other clothing items created by Ghost dancers and thought to be imbued with spiritual powers. Ghost shirts were sacred to the Lakota people and were thought to guard against bullets.

Gris-gris – is a voodoo amulet originating in Africa which is believed to protect the wearer from evil or brings luck. It consists of a small cloth bag inscribed with verses from Qur’an and containing ritual numbers.

Hamsa – is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and commonly used in jewelery and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand is a sign of protection and defense against the evil eye.

Kanai Anzen – is a type of omamori, or Japanese amulet of the Shinto religion. Its purpose is to promote good health and to help those with illnesses. Literally kana anzen means “Please keep my family from harm”.